Well, the shirt finally hit the fan.
Tom Brady's Super Bowl 51 game-worn jersey -- which was swiped from his locker at some point during the chaotic postgame in Houston last month after the historic comeback victory by the Patriots -- has reportedly been recovered in Mexico thanks to efforts by the FBI, Houston police, NFL security, as well as Mexican authorities.
Mauricio Ortega, a former executive of the Mexico City newspaper Diario La Prensa, was confronted by authorities in Mexico. He then turned over the Brady jersey from this year's Super Bowl, as well as a missing Brady jersey from Super Bowl XLIX, in which the Patriots defeated Seahawks in 2015. Authorities also recovered a helmet from Super Bowl 50 that is believed to have belonged to Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller. The LI jersey alone was valued at $500,000, while the other items were not previously cited as missing.
FOX's Jay Glazer on Monday afternoon went on Colin Cowherd's show to unveil video from the Patriots locker room used by authorities that shows the jersey being taken by a man with his face blurred.
Houston police chief Art Acevedo said Monday that an informant tipped off the department as to the whereabouts of the jersey. Ortega was credentialed for the Super Bowl in Houston this year, though it's unclear how he obtained it. Acevedo mentioned in a press conference that the NFL needs to review its protocol for securing locker rooms. This is an especially tough challenge during the Super Bowl, when 5,700 media members covered it this year alone.
Brady said he is "happy" the jerseys have been recovered and thanked law enforcement for their work. "Hopefully when I get the jerseys back I can make something very positive come from this experience," Brady said. And, last month, Patriots owner Bob Kraft compared the theft to the taking of "a great Chagall or Picasso".
The dramatic conclusion of this saga touched off some interesting responses, including Arkansas representative Rick Crawford praising FBI director James Comey for his role in recovering the missing jersey.
The items have been returned to the United States, where they are being authenticated by authorities. If this is indeed the end, it's yet another incredible story of Patriots Super Bowl memorabilia going missing, right along with the Bob Kraft Super Bowl ring that is currently in the possession of Vladimir Putin.
Speaking of Vlad, Comey coincidentally used the Patriots on Monday morning as a way to explain Russian motivation in interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The FBI director -- who mentioned he is an avowed New York Giants fan -- likened the Russians' feelings toward Clinton to his own hatred of the Patriots.
FBI Director Comey: "I hate the New England Patriots, and no matter who they play, I'd like them to lose." pic.twitter.com/l2wE63IzpF- Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 20, 2017